RENO, Nev. (AP) — Lake Tahoe-area ski resorts are hoping a series of winter storms forecast across northern Nevada this week will help bolster the dismal snowpack in the Sierra amid one of the warmest winters on record.
A winter storm warning remains in effect until 1 p.m. Tuesday in central Nevada as the storm that was expected to leave up to a foot (30 centimeters) of new snow overnight in the upper elevations of the Sierra along the California was making its way east. A much bigger storm is expected by Thursday.
The storm warning stretched along U.S. Highway 50, where up to 9 inches (23 centimeters) is expected in the upper elevations, and up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) in the valleys of southern Lander and Eureka counties, including Austin and Eureka.
A winter weather advisory is in effect until Tuesday afternoon further east toward the Utah line in parts of northern Nye and White Pine counties, including Tonopah, Ely, and Great Basin National Park. The advisory had been set to expire at 4 a.m. Tuesday across most of Elko County in northeast Nevada, where up to 9 inches (23 centimeters) of snow also was forecast in the mountains.
Eight inches (20 centimeters) of snow already had fallen Monday afternoon on the Sierra’s eastern front in Cedarville, California, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of Reno. Wind gusts of 66 mph (106 kph) were recorded in Washoe City south of Reno and 63 mph (101 kph) in Sun Valley north of Reno.
“It has been snowing since around 4 a.m.,” Squaw Valley Kirkwood Meadows resort posted on its website Monday. “We are expecting up to 15 inches (38 centimeters) of snow by the time the showers taper off tonight.”
Several feet of snow will be possible when a stronger Pacific storm arrives with gusty winds in the Sierra Thursday through Saturday, with rain and snow likely in western Nevada on Thursday before changing to all snow, the National Weather Service said.
The average temperature this winter in Reno has been 39.5 degrees — the second-warmest since 1937. The warmest was in 2015.
Colder weather and more snow is expected in March. But Jeff Anderson, hydrologist for the Nevada Natural Resources Conservation Service, warned against being too optimistic.
Dan McEvoy of the Western Regional Climate Center, said the next two to four weeks “are actually looking pretty favorable.”